Tips for Watering Your Plants While on Vacation - Blog

Tips for Watering Your Plants While on Vacation

By Kaw Valley Greenhouses, Inc.

While you’re on vacation, you can keep your plants alive with these self-watering tricks.
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It’s vacation time, but it’s also plant-growing time, and many of those plants still need water in the summer heat! Here are some of our favorite options to keep your garden alive and well while you’re recharging on a sandy beach or visiting family out of state.


Mulch is Your Garden's Best Friend

Mulch is a fantastic addition to your garden to protect the roots from heat damage; it traps moisture in the soil and prevents it from evaporating too quickly. In fact, simply by adding mulch, you can reduce evaporation in your garden by 25%, which means that you can go longer without watering your plants. Paired with any of the following tips, using mulch will increase the chances of a successful self-watering system! 

When adding mulch, be sure to not add so much that the crown (the base of the stem where it meets the start of the roots) of your plants is covered, as this will increase the chances of rot. You can also add mulch specifically around the roots rather than giving your whole garden another layer. If you already have sufficient mulch, just give your plants a thorough watering. 


kaw valley greenhouse self watering orb glass1.pngBulbs and Homemade Slow Release Jugs

Glass bulbs are a great option for slow-release watering, especially for container plants. They hold a decent amount of water and can water your plant for up to a week! However, if you have a lot of containers or want to implement something similar, you can make DIY slow-release jugs that will water your plants slowly while you’re away. 

To make watering jugs for your plants, simply take an empty 2L pop bottle (or smaller, for container plants) and poke some holes in the bottom. Fill it up with water and bury the jug halfway into the soil around the plants you’re intending to water. Be sure to leave the cap off so that air can replace the draining water and it doesn’t stay trapped in the bottle. Make sure you still give your plants a good watering before you bury the jugs so that your garden stays moist as long as possible. 


Sprinklers on Timers

If you have a regular garden sprinkler on hand, a timer might be the perfect thing for you! This isn’t the most efficient option since it will water everything and not just specific plants, but it will do the trick! Make sure your system is water-tight so that you don’t have leaks that turn into a massive water bill. We recommend setting the timer to water in the early morning so that the plants have time to absorb the water and it won’t evaporate in the heat of the day. 


kaw valley greenhouse grouping plants together outside.pngPlants Who are Grouped Together, Survive Together

If you have container plants spread out around your garden, backyard, or even indoors, group them all together into one space. This will increase the humidity around the plants, allowing them to hold onto moisture longer, which means they won’t need as much watering through the roots. Plus, they’ll keep each other company while you’re gone!  


Be a Little Shady

Providing your plants with a bit more shade than normal, or even moving them out of direct sunlight, is another great way to prevent rapid evaporation. Give your plants a good watering before you go and then give them some shade—they will last a lot longer without those bright sun rays! You can use shade cloth, sheer curtains, screens, or whatever you have that will help break up the sunlight a bit. Keep in mind, however, if you move full sun loving plants like petunias not to leave them in the shade for much longer than a week or so because they could stretch a bit as they search for light.


kaw valley greenhouse plant sitter for the garden.pngGet a Plant-Sitter

Of course, the easiest solution is to make friends with a fellow gardener. Offer to water their plants on their vacation, bring back a gift from your travels, or give them some cash as a thank you! It’s an easy ask and will make sure your plants are getting their needs met. 

You can grow along with us as we care for our trial gardens, check us out on Facebook for more!




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